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Meet Wankhede’s unheralded non-playing power player

The course of had began final week, of dusting the equipment required to host a high-profile night match on the Wankhede Stadium. The Indian Premier League (IPL) shall be returning to Indian soil in any case. But it wasn’t the proverbial spider-webs between the cogs of a wheel that needed to be cleared.

Kanwal Netar Satyal, a marketing consultant on the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) in control of all the things power-related on the venue, had to make sure the 4 large floodlights have been freed from the eagle nests that had been constructed on them.

“This was a new problem, and we had to send four people with sticks up the masts to get them out,” Satyal says. “Their helmets had a set of eyes drawn on the back. Eagles attack when someone is not looking, so those drawn eyes on the back ensure they won’t attack from behind.”

In a stadium that may seat 33,000 followers, Satyal’s position is unsung however of utmost significance. And it’s one that’s essential within the Wankhede internet hosting IPL matches.

“Is there supply for the broadcasters? Are the lifts working? Is the current supply stable? Are the standby (generators) ready? Is there enough power to support the cameras?…” the 62-year-old begins itemizing his duties.

Satyal’s position is essential within the Wankhede internet hosting IPL matches.

His greatest process, nonetheless, is guaranteeing the floodlights are in working situation. It’s a process he holds near the chest, in any case, he was concerned within the designing section of the 4 masts (floodlights). Back when the stadium was being renovated in 2010, forward of the 2011 World Cup, Satyal was concerned in deciding what was wanted to light up the stadium and the set up course of.

“We had to dig 30 metres underground to secure the base of the masts that stand 72 metres tall. The securing was important because the stadium is 200 m from the sea and there are heavy winds that will make them sway,” he says proudly of the mammoth installations. “Each weighs 45 tons and has 112-118 fittings. And then there are 24 more fittings at other locations – six in four sets. This helps in general operations to make sure all areas of the ground are illuminated.”

In a stadium that may seat 33,000 followers, Satyal’s position is unsung however of utmost significance.

That illumination serves not simply until the match is over. The house owners of the Wankhede-based Mumbai Indians franchise, Reliance, typically reserve match-day seats for college college students. “There was one match some years ago where some 15 thousand students had come,” Satyal recollects. “The downside with children is that they take time to exit. And some are mischievous, so they are going to attempt to conceal behind the chairs and all. “Around 1 AM, the lights have been nonetheless on and one of many officers seen it and referred to as me to scold me. ‘Tum murkh ho kya (are you a fool)? Lights are still on.’ I advised him I’ll name him within the morning. That night time, all college students vacated round 3:30 AM. The lights stayed on until 4 AM as soon as all the things was clear. Then I despatched a message explaining what occurred. Just a few hours later I acquired a message congratulating me on that call.

If the lights go off instantly, or on schedule,” he explains, “then there would have been chaos. But the situations keep changing. There are a lot of post-match activities, presentations and interviews. Then there might be some delay in, say, the Spidercam people, or LED advertisers removing their equipment. So we have to wait for everything.”

Just as necessary because the post-match shutdown is the planning that goes firstly of a event. He explains that work begins at the least 10 days earlier than the opening match, and operations must be prepared 5 days earlier than the match. This consists of coordinating with the 30-odd employees that report back to him on match day. But there have been situations the place last-minute occasions have been scheduled on the stadium. Such as in 2014, when it was determined that former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ oath ceremony would happen on the stadium – with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance. “We were informed just a day and a half before the event,” Satyal recollects.

Over his profession, Satyal has labored and helped arrange electrical and lighting techniques in cricket and soccer stadia in Bhutan, Nepal, Oman and Dubai. He’s labored at coal mines, naval docks, the sea-link in Mumbai, and can be a marketing consultant for the cricket associations in Punjab and Karnataka. But the Ambala-native prizes his position on the Wankhede essentially the most.

Despite being in such shut proximity to the motion, he doesn’t get to observe the match since he’s consistently shifting from one management room to the opposite. He hasn’t advised most of his family that he works on the Wankhede both. “Phir log ticket maangne lagte hai (people start asking for tickets then),” he quips.

With simply days left earlier than the beginning of IPL 14, Satyal’s schedule has tightened up as he oversees remaining preparations. The time he spends on this attracts incredulous reactions.

“People say, ‘arre batti to jalana hai (it’s just switching the lights on),’” he says. “But it’s not that simple. This is a thankless job.”

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